How I Became Re-Inspired To Create

How I Became Re-Inspired To Create

How I found my passion to create again.

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After a particularly harsh digital imaging class, I took my sophomore year of high school, I found that my passion to create art had vanished. I was disturbed by the subjectivity of the course. The idea that I was being graded on something that I created based on the likings of a teacher was unsettling to me. I found that art in education has become systemically structured and does not allow one to truly channel themselves into their pieces as people tend to focus more on the grade than the creation. However, this year I became re-inspired to create again. And this is how I did it.

Water-colored lipsBy and photographed by: me

After the digital imaging fiasco, I was particularly uninterested in the idea of taking an art class. However, at the University of Southern California, the school requires that all freshman take a seminar. I bravely chose to take a seminar of the arts (as I needed to complete that GE). It was called looking at language, so I thought it would be more of a literature/linguistics-based class. However, after the first project, I was soon to be proven very wrong. This class was about pushing your boundaries as a creator and making visual art that is outside of your comfort zone. Our professor would encourage us to try new things and go beyond what would we have done before. I chose to dip my toes back into the realm of Photoshop and drawing. This is a massive step for me as I had previously lost my confidence in my own abilities of these skills. However, when I sat down, looked at my laptop, and opened up Photoshop again it was like an awakening of my passion. I did not think about the grade nor did I think about how others would perceive what I created, instead I just thought about what I thought looked aesthetically pleasing. When I focused on a color scheme that was pleasing to my eye, a design that looked and felt correct to me, and a composition that I enjoyed, I found that my piece came together into something that was better than anything I had created before.

My proudest creation: photoshop edition

Instead of focusing on the outcome, I focused on the process of creating. Every night I would listen to music, sit in my bed and go at it on Photoshop. This work ethic was very difficult and time-consuming, but I found that I thoroughly enjoyed it. My advice to anyone that has lost inspiration to create because of school or structure or grades is to forget about the consequences and enjoy the process of what you are doing when you are doing it. Loosen up, open your mind, and remember anything that you do is for the betterment of yourself and for your own character. In order to stress my work process and the fact that I truly enjoyed what I had created, I talked to my professor one on one. I found that this personal dialogue was incredibly beneficial for us both. She understood why I created what I did, and I understood that not all teachers or professors are out there to give you a bad grade or are not be open-minded. You too have to open your mind to what their thoughts are, take their constructive criticism, but in the end understand that if you are happy with what you have done and what you have created, the grade simply does not matter. It is the work process and the aesthetic of the creation that truly is important.

A mix of hand-work and digital work

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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